Thursday, May 17, 2007

To the Victor the Spoils

So, the soccer season is over and I've handed out most of the trophies, t-shirts, goody bags. I've still got a few people to track down in the next day or two, but for the most part I'm done. We still have one more event on Sunday, in which the girls are going to an FC Dallas professional game and get to participate in a parade of teams before the game. They also get to play some mini games in the stadium on the same field that the pros use. I'm excited as this will be the closest I ever get to being a pro myself. The girls are looking forward to the possibility of being on the jumbotron.

Still, I look forward to a short offseason in which I will try to get away from the pressure of being a head coach. It will be nice to get away from the league, the fans, and the media scrutiny for a few weeks. My registration for next season is due back to the league on June 1st. Then I begin my offseason regimen of scouting players, making recruiting visits, minicamps, etc.

One of the more ambitious soccer moms has her girl playing with another team over the summer and invited a few of the others to come to the try outs. My daughter is going today, but I've got some reservations about the whole thing. First of all this team is a year older and will be playing against competition that is also in their age group. My daughter wasn't the most physically gifted in her own age group. She shined due to equal parts skill and determination and might not match up as well at this point. Her skill level won't set her apart as much with this group and I don't know if her grit will overcome the physical limitations.

Besides the age difference this try out is to see if this team can become associated with an academy/club team. That means that once again they will be playing with/against an overall higher caliber of player then what she has been playing with so far. I think my girl is pretty good and is certainly competitive and driven, but I don't want the combination of level and age to hinder her confidence and enjoyment.

I'm also worried about what effect this is going to have on my team. All of the girls going to this including my own are expected to be back on the team in the fall, but I'm worried about what effect this will have on the girls that weren't invited. I'm afraid that this will fragment the team and pull it apart. Truthfully, the girls that weren't invited are the ones who didn't seem to have as much interest and whose parents had previously said they did not want to do summer soccer, but still I'm not sure how much that is the case. Hopefully this doesn't cause conflict amongst the team and awkwardness this weekend. I'll be holding my breath.